Medication in schools and other childcare settings

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Guidance has been issued in England[1] (replacing previous guidance[2])

Key phrases include:

  • Other healthcare professionals, including GPs and paediatricians – should notify the school nurse when a child has been identified as having a medical condition that will require support at school. They may provide advice on developing healthcare plans.(p13 - it is not clear, however, that this is a contractual duty of GPs)
  • "Staff must not give prescription medicines or undertake healthcare procedures without appropriate training (updated to reflect any individual healthcare plans). In some cases, written instructions from the parent or on the medication container dispensed by the pharmacist may be considered sufficient, but ultimately this is for the school to decide, having taken into consideration the training requirements as specified in pupils’ individual health care plans." (p15, S27)
  • Healthcare professionals, including the school nurse, can provide confirmation of the proficiency of staff in a medical procedure, or in providing medication." (p15, S28)
  • "Wherever possible, children should be allowed to carry their own medicines and relevant devices or should be able to access their medicines for self-medication quickly and easily. Children who can take their medicines themselves or manage procedures may require an appropriate level of supervision. If it is not appropriate for a child to self-manage, then relevant staff should help to administer medicines and manage procedures for them." (p15, S33)
  • "no child under 16 should be given prescription or non-prescription medicines without their parent’s written consent – except in exceptional circumstances where the medicine has been prescribed to the child without the knowledge of the parents." (p15, S35 - NB it does not say anything about requiring a doctor's note)

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